I have written earlier in the notes on Toseftot Berachot 4:8 and 5:5 about the Roman Symposium and how the Rabbis have adopted the structure of the Roman banquets for the Jewish meals. The vestiges of this structure can still be observed on the Pesach Seder, where we recline, wash hands, and dip. However, when I wrote about it last time I did not have a very good illustration of the what the Roman symposium actually looked like. Recently, I came across the Roman mosaic from the 3-5 centuries CE that depicts the Roman symposium in great details.
This mosaic was formerly in the Joseph Ziadé collection, Beirut, Lebanon during the 1950s. After that it was passed to his descendant Farid Ziadé. It was acquired from Farid Ziadé in 1982 and has been in a European private collection, since 2000. Currently it is on display at the Le Chateau de Boudry, Musee De La Vigne Et Du Vin in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
The mosaic is called Mosaic of a Symposium with Asarotos Oikos. Asarotos Oikos is the unswept floor with garbage that can be seen all over the floor of the dining room. Apparently the Romans threw their garbage and leftovers straight onto the floor and it did not get cleaned up until after the meal was over. I am not sure if the Jews in Roman Palestine did the same thing or not.
The mosaic shows nine men reclining on a semi-circular couch, known as a stibadum, in a triclinium (dining room). They are being served by seven male servants, who are clearly slaves. The scene shows the symposium being in progress, when the appetizers have been already served and eaten as implied by the scraps on the floor, but the main course (large birds) is just being served, as suggested by the scraps of food that cover the floor, as well as the look of drunk guests some of whom are partially undressed. You can tell the servants apart from the diners by their shaved heads with pony-tails, which was a common hair cut of Roman slaves of lower status. However, the central servant, who is about to carve one of the three birds on round tables, has long hair similar to the two central diners. He is a carver and was considered a servant of higher status, despite the fact that he was a slave as well. The garbage on the floor shows leftovers of various foods that were eaten as appetizers: fish heads, fish bones, shrimp heads, snail shells, mollusc shells, chicken bones and chicken claws, artichoke stems, leafy greens, and nuts.
A more detailed description of the mosaic can be read on the site of Phoenix Ancient Art Antiquities Dealer in Switzerland.